Wednesday, June 30, 2010
I have mixed feelings about Dubai . . . Arab oil money creates an international playground? But this is an incredible display of waterworks. Enjoy!
P.S. The song is "Time to Say Goodbye" by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
No, I didn't get a new puppy--as much as I'd like to. :-)
Monday, June 28, 2010
LOL! This parody of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" is hilarious--and it's Anita Renfroe, who I met at a Women of Faith conference, and who you may recall from "The Mom Song" on YouTube and Good Morning America.
You have to love a woman who is comfortable in her own skin.
Traveling home today. Had a great time, but it's always good to come home. :-)
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Last week in Texas, one of my students asked how you know it's time to let go of a manuscript. I think I answered with, "You don't. You simply do the best you can, polish the best you can, and let it go."
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Last week I went to Texas to teach at the West Texas A&M Writing Academy. This second annual gathering is the brainchild of romance novelist Jodi Thomas, who I had the great pleasure of meeting. She and a team of excellent instructors teach during this week-long event, with classes from 9-12 each day and critique and writing in the afternoons.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
One of the fun things I was able to do last week in Texas was visit the Cadillac Ranch. Apparently this eccentric millionaire who lives near Amarillo buried several Cadillacs in 1974 . . . in the middle of his wheat field. The cars have been moved once since then, but they're still out in the middle of a wheat field, and people can (and do!) stop by the decorate the cars with graffiti. There's nothing much left to the cars but bare metal, but the paint is so thick you can peel pieces of it away. (If you're dying for more information, you can Google it or read about it here.)
Monday, June 21, 2010
I don't know what's happening to me, but lately I haven't been able to make it through a day without nearly bursting into tears. And I'm not sad--at least, I don't think I am.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
My friend Robin Lee--who just broke her ankle, bless her heart--has a new release out. I'd love to tell you about it:
Who says a woman can’t keep a secret?
It's 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret.
A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories … except Daphne.
When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
When I was a child, we used to drive over to Winter Haven a few times a year. I remember sitting in the back seat on the (long, it seemed to me) drive home, staring at the cars behind us. Those cars had FACES--some were sad, some were happy, some looked cruel. Automobiles had bigger grilles in those days, and they created some truly memorable faces.
Friday, June 18, 2010
At home, all the news is about the oil spill--that's only natural, since it occurred not far from our coastline. But visit this website, and suddenly the oil spill takes on an entirely new dimension: click here.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
If you've checked my Facebook page recently, you might have seen that I had my favorite DSLR camera stolen out of my luggage on my trip to Colorado Springs. It was a GREAT conference, but the trip was less than my best. Not only was my camera stolen and my jewelry case rifled (nothing taken, because I don't have valuable jewelry), but one of my flights was cancelled so I had to squirrel myself away in a hotel room and get up before the birds . . .
Monday, June 14, 2010
1-What caused you to choose early Texas as the setting for your "Texas Star of Destiny" series?
I enjoy writing about locales and periods where several groups come together for a sharp culture clash. Conflict is the essence of a good story and many different people trying to get along or not get along sets up a story rife with natural conflict.
Starting in 1821 Stephen Austin brought in Anglo-Americans to settle Spanish and the Mexican-held Texas. Eastern Texas became the setting where Native Americans, mainly Comanche, Mexicans, and blacks (slaves and runaways), and Anglos clashed over who would be in control of the land. Part of my brand, "Strong Women Brave Stories" is that I like to write a multicultural cast. In this third and final book in the series, I stir German immigrants into the mix.
2-How do you handle the 19th century political incorrectness?
I resist the pressure to sanitize history. If I portray the 19th century as it really was, it is difficult not to offend the 21st century reader. Yet I still endeavor to portray the low status of women and racial prejudice of the 19th century. I had a reader say in a review that my stories had 21st century values. That's not really correct. My stories have characters who are at odds with their times, another characteristic common to my historicals. My heroines are usually crusaders far ahead of their times who won't cave in to the pressure to conform (another source of conflict). I don't like historical novels that don't even try to show how society was different in the past.
3-What was the most interesting fact you didn't know about Texas BEFORE you started writing this series?
I hadn't realized that over 30,000 Germans immigrated to Texas in the mid-1840's. The area around New Braunfels, Texas, still celebrates this German heritage with some original stone houses, German food and polka bands—really!
4-What do you hope your readers will take away after reading this book and the first two in the series?
Her Abundant Joy features a German widow Mariel Wolffe. She is a heroine who will tug at a reader's heart (I hope!) And her hero, Carson Quinn, the son of the hero and heroine in the first book, is a man that should melt hearts. He's not just a handsome face. He has faced frontier life and learned to survive with honor, no small accomplishment.
They find themselves--just as we do today in the face of terrorism--in the middle of a war. Their personal desires and plans must give way to the winds of war. But God is still there with them. I gave my editor a choice of two titles taken from Psalm 37 (all 3 titles are). She chose Her Abundant Joy. The other was Her Man of Peace. I think that this reflects the theme of the book. Carson longs for peace but is forced into war.
The humble shall inherit the earth; and
shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace....
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright:
for the end of that man is peace. Psalm 37: 11, 37
Sunday, June 13, 2010
A friend of mine (thanks, Jim Denny!) shared this video with me. It's heartbreaking, but it says what I've been feeling a lot these days. I'm not sure how much longer human kind can continue . . . and even the creation is groaning, awaiting the Lord's redemption.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Angels come in all shapes and sizes. :-)
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Found this interesting article about old dogs and their diet--apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks if you feed him (or her) a certain kind of dog food. Hmm. Wonder if this works for people, too?
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
We're having a lovely time with over sixty writers at the Glen Eyrie workshop in Colorado Springs. I would send you pictures, but MY DSLR CAMERA WAS STOLEN OUT OF MY SUITCASE AT THE AIRPORT.
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Saturday, June 05, 2010
For some reason--must be Providence, because it's certainly not a conscious decision--I've been focused on World War II lately, specifically the Holocaust.
Friday, June 04, 2010
It's summertime, and that means (hopefully) more time to read!
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Born Valentine's Day on a naval base, Cheryl Wyatt writes military romance. Her Steeple Hill debuts earned RT Top Picks plus #1 and #4 on eHarlequin's Top 10 Most-Blogged-
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Reading and writing and 'rithmatic . . . all to the tune of a KINDLE! Our local high school has opted to ditch books and give each student a Kindle instead. (Textbooks cost between $70-90 a pop--if each student has six or seven, getting a Kindle is a no-brainer).
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
My mom sent me a link to this current events quiz, so I took it and missed one out of 12. I email a lot of politically active friends frequently, so they keep me pretty "up to date" on what's going on (plus simply watching the news is helpful). At the same time, taking the quiz made me grateful that I wasn't a Miss America contestant . . . :-)